Wednesday, 01 February 2017 13:08

How to make Facebook and Twitter more pleasant in difficult times Featured

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In a time of political turmoil and polarization, you may want to keep friends, family, and colleagues with whom you have fundamental disagreements from seeing some of your routine social media postings, wherever they occur.

Some argue that compartmentalizing what you see and what you let others see increases polarization and an echochamber effect. They worry or insist that it will further distance people’s points of view and make it less likely for some kind of grand reconciliation.

Others try to use the language of healing and security against people, accusing them of maintaining “safe spaces,” being too easily “triggered,” and acting like a “snowflake”—easily melted when exposed to challenging ideas.

My position is that given a space you’re allowed to control, whether it’s a Tumblr, a website, a Facebook or Twitter account, Instagram comments, or the like, you can make of it what you will. I rarely hear someone’s home described as an acceptable safe space, even though I can legally control who comes onto or into my property. Online spaces should have the same integrity and choice.

If you find it useful to have everyone unfiltered and exposed, that’s great. If you want to exclude ideas you find abhorrent and not let people you know and don’t trust to hear your honest appraisals, that’s also great.

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